Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Melissa S.
Are video games getting more expensive? The cost of living is rising at an alarming rate at the moment, with energy and fuel prices skyrocketing and impacting our available income significantly.
This obviously has an impact on the amount of desposible income we have to spend on the fun things in life. So while the cost of video games may not be rising directly, many people are looking to save money on video games and other pastimes in order to save money and stretch their budgets.
If you can relate to this, here’s 11 best ways to save money on video games.
Buy Pre-owned Games
This might sound like stating the obvious, but it really is a no brainer if you’re looking to save money on video games.
You can find trade-ins on popular titles as soon as a couple of months after their release, and the pricing can be much more affordable. You can also buy preowned games online at outlets such as eBay or Amazon Renewed, as well as on the websites of high street retailers such as Game.
Sell Your Used Games Instead of Trading In
Many people look to trade in old games to get money off new releases in the game shops. However, this is not as cost effective as selling the games yourself. The shops are going to offer significantly less than the value when you trade in, as they will be looking to make a profit when they sell the games on.
It may take a little more time and effort, but listing your games for sale on eBay or Facebook Marketplace will almost always get you a better sale price than if you trade in to the store.
Buy Physical games, not digital downloads
Following on from the previous point, buying physical games enables you to sell them on or trade in at a later date. With the reduced costs in distribution and packaging it has always baffled me that digital downloads tend to be no cheaper than buying a physical copy of the game, and in some cases, more expensive.
The only time I would ever recommend buying a digital download of a game that is available physically is if it is significantly cheaper to buy digitally, which can happen occasionally if the console online shop is having a sale.
Watch for Game Deals and Price Drops
If you are waiting on a particular title to be released, start shopping around online and doing your research. Often retailers will use pre-order incentives or special offers to lock in your custom.
Even if some of these don’t represent a monetary saving, you can get some great bonus offers, and if it’s a game you were buying at release no matter what then you might as well score the extra swag!
Play Games for Free with Steam
If you are a PC Gamer, the chances are you’ve used or at least heard of Steam, the free cloud-based gaming library where users can purchase and play games. Membership is free, and while some games need to be purchased, many others are free. In this list, Games Radar counts down the Best 25 free Games on Steam right now.
Get Free Games From Memberships
Online membership plans can offer good value for money with free games and DLC (downloable content), providing you use the games.
For a large family or group of flatmates who all play online, the cost could be split which makes the membership much better value than individuals all buying the extra content separately.
Always check deal sites and shop around online
As with any product, shopping around and checking deal sites is likely to get you a better deal than just clicking on the first result. Sites such as UK Hot Deals can alert you to any particularly good flash offers.
Checking cashback sites such as Top Cashback can also earn you extra savings on your purchase.
Contrary to the point above, it is always worth checking the console’s online shop to see if there are any deals on digital downloads of the game. If there is a special offer that makes it significantly cheaper than buying a physical copy and you know you won’t wish to sell it on, then this could be a better option.
Take Advantage of Bundles
When buying a new console, games are often included as part of a bundle that works out much cheaper than buying the games individually. Although it is usually only certain games that are offered in a console bundle rather than free choice, you can still be strategic in selecting the more expensive titles for your bundle and buying the cheaper ones separately.
Of course, this only works out better value if they are games you want – there’s no point in including a more expensive game in a bundle if you actually prefer the cheaper title.
Look out for Sales, Especially on Holidays
It goes without saying that occasionas such as Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day could yield savings on certain video games.
However, in my experience it is rarely the case on any big new releases, especially on Black Friday in the lead up to Christmas. However, you could take advantage of general Black Friday savings and offers such as “Spend £50, get £20 off” or increased cashback in order to save money on these premuium video game titles.
Subscribing to the mailing list of gaming retailers could bag you some subscriber exclusive offers, especially at sale times, so it’s always worth signing up and checking your emails.
Wait a While and Check the Bargain Bins
The cost of new release video games is at a premium, with many titles across Nintendo, XBox and Playstation upwards of £59.99 at release. If you can wait a few months, this cost can significatly decrease to around £30.00.
This article from Slickdeals details how many new release games drop significantly in price as soon as 2 months after release.
Obviously this depends on the title, popularity and other factors, but if you are regualrly buying games at release and then not playing for a while, it might be worth waiting for a price drop.
Get a Bargain Indie Game
Your console’s online shop not only contains all the premium games, but it is a place where independant game developers offer their games for a fraction of the price. Often these are mini or puzzle games, similar to those you might find on a mobile device, but often you can find hidden gems that go on to be big hits.
Independent games are much more likely to have price reductions also, with some titles regularly up to 80% off.
Can You Save Money on Video Games with these tips?
Are you planning on using any of these tips, or do you have any more to add? Leave a comment and share with the community.
About the Author
Melissa is a working parent who left behind a senior management salary for a better work/life balance. Following her own money saving and money making strategies she was able to clear debt and live a life she loves. Blogging, selling digital products on Etsy and selling preloved items on eBay are her favourite side hustles. Read her story here.